‘While library was allotted ₹1.7 crore for 2018, ₹17.37 crore was allotted for security’
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) on Wednesday alleged that facts on paper sourced from the administration’s financial reports show a dip in the average academic expenditure in proportion to the total expenditure — down to 6.65% from 8.5% between 2012-13 and 2015-16.
The JNUTA said after studying the financial reports of the university it found that while the library was allotted ₹ 1.7 crore in 2018, from a budget of about ₹6 crore per year between 2012 and 2018, security expenses have gone up by 89% over the last two years in comparison to 2012-13 and 2015-16.
“The increase in the absolute amount spent extra on security is ₹ 6,33,99,965 on an average in the last [few] years, which is 6.7 times more than the amount reduced for library books and e-journals. In 2016-17, the security budget was ₹9.52 crore, which in 2017-18 has increased to ₹17.37 crore,” the JNUTA said.
It added that the increase in security expenditure comes even though JNU was utterly peaceful.
Commenting on the cut in the library budget, the teachers said most journal subscriptions will have to be discontinued as a consequence. This means, they said, that the JNU library will be virtually shut down because of the decision of the administration to not allot more funds to it.
Reacting to allegations on the annual budget of the JNU library being slashed, finance officer Heeraman Tiwari said the claims were baseless since the university has been allotting ₹1.7 crore to the library every year for books and journals from the grant received annually from the University Grants Commission (UGC).
“A one-time bulk grant was given by the UGC in 2012 under its 12th plan for the next five years. Now that the plan has ended, the library is running with its regular annual grant. However, JNU has made a request to the UGC to release additional funds to meet the increasing requirements of the library,” Mr. Tiwari said.
However, the teachers felt the administration was not giving a priority to the library and instead spending its money on non-academic expenditures.
“The JNU administration is now squandering away the university’s hard-earned resources built on taxpayers’ money contributions for decades. At stake is not only JNU’s acknowledged eminence but the idea of quality research work by teachers and students, international and national research collaboration, and access to all,” said JNUTA president Atul Sood.
He added that it was a cause for concern as JNU, which is known as a place for teaching, learning and research, was being imploded from within by the administration of Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar.
Online exam format
The JNUTA also pointed out that another major expenditure that mysteriously went up from ₹3.75 crore in 2016-17 to ₹6.04 crore in 2017-18 was the cost of conducting the university entrance examination.
They said the figure was likely to skyrocket next year, as the administration was moving towards the online examination format.